Sunday, August 14, 2011

On IRA slash…
“Brace for the worst,”
- Gov. Chatto orders
By: Rey Anthony H. Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Aug 12 (PIA) – Brace for the worst.

Governor Edgar Chatto issues the marching order for local government units including the Capitol, municipal and barangays to brace for the projected 4.8% Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) reduction.

IRA is the annual share of local governments out of the proceeds from national internal revenue taxes.

According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), it is estimated at forty percent (40%) of the actual collections of national internal revenue taxes during the third fiscal year, preceding the current year, as certified by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

This year however, the government, through the DBM has recently announced the projected IRA reduction due to the poorer-than-expected tax collection in 2009.

At the Kita ug ang Gobernador aired live all over Bohol, Chatto hinted that the reduction would necessarily burden government services and its priority spending programs.

He said the reduction for Capitol would mean P49M lost budget that could have gone to services and other government-led priority projects.

But instead of sulking out, the governor issued the order even as he said the League of Provinces is seeking out possible relief from the reduced IRA.

“Reflect on the budget the possible reduction of the amount”, Chatto has suggested.

Chatto said that local leaders have pushed for two proposals for the government to consider, in a dinner with President Benigno Simeon Aquino III recently.

The League of Provinces, according to Chatto has proposed for the President’s financial management team to review the base used by the IRA computation.

The governor said they would want to know if the IRA computation has included in it all possible sources of national internal revenue sources.

He cited other possible sources like the Bureau of Customs among other key revenue generating government agencies.

While urging some belt tightening measures, he also shared that if revenues of all national internal revenue generating agencies have been included in the computation, the local leaders also proposed the national government to put in subsidy funds.
The proposal has accordingly engaged the president into asking DBM secretary Butch Abad to look into the matter just as local government budget process is now starting.

He also relayed that the President has initially bared his willingness to release a subsidy fund as long as the financial people can certify the availability of subsidy fund.

“We will look at the figure and inform everybody later,” Chatto cited Abad but the budget secretary accordingly could not yet confirm it outright.

Over this, the Chatto order to LGUs in Bohol also came with a positive note: “in case there is a subsidy, we will have more elbow room.” (30)


Bohol venue for first

PPP forum – Chatto
By: Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol Aug 12 (PIA) -- Possibly one of the pioneering provinces in implementing the public-private sector partnership (PPP) template in development, Bohol still has a lot to learn.

Governor Edgar Chatto hinted this as he announced that the country’s first public-private partnership forum would be set in Bohol.

Fresh from a Regional Development Council meeting in Cebu where the government’s Development Agenda Caravan was first launched, Chatto said the forum is part of the government’s information drives to drum up sectoral understanding of its policies and programs

In Bohol Chatto said it should provide Boholanos a better understanding on the concepts and benefits of the public private partnership.

“This is for the people especially the private sector who intends to help in the putting up of public services,” the governor beamed over radio air lanes in Bohol.

But, it may also be true that Bohoanos who have been talking about joint venture agreements had the PPP concept already.

Developing a sustainable public utility in Tagbilaran was competed through a PPP concept but was better understood as a JV.

Chatto however clarified: PPP is only about infrastructure development but also includes integrated development works [in BOhol].

Citing the newly formed Bayanihan Coordinating Center, Chatto explains: “the unit is set up to ensure that groups and corporations practicing corporate social responsibility and willing to partner with Bohol will have coordinating center to allow them to channel their support programs to government service delivery.”

In Bohol, Bayanihan’s classroom development program is a long-term partnership for education under the bayanihan spirit. It allows the construction and equipping of two classroom buildings at a much lower price, the governor boasted.

PPP is able to put in goods and services in the spirit of convergence where a usual P1.5 M, two classroom building can be put up at P810 K.

Under the partnership, the Philippine Army gives free labor, the local government puts up the funds while the private sector donates the school accessories.

At turn over, the school building would have a toilet of its own, window grills, desks, teacher’s table, charts, electric fans, blackboards, computer sets and multi-media equipment as well as learning modules, Chatto said.

After the PPP forum here, local leaders like Chatto also hope another window of partnership can be opened. (30)

Bohol-UP ink partnership
                                                On lending experts’ help
By: Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Aug 12 (PIA) – In the race towards rationalized development planning, Bohol gets to gain big with an agreement it recently inked with the University of the Philippines (UP).

Governor Edgar Chatto representing Bohol and UP Chancellor Dr. Cesar Saloma officially sealed the agreement for UP to provide technical support for Bohol and her towns in sustainable development planning.

Chatto shared the development last Friday, August 12 in time for his weekly radio program aired live on Bohol radio stations.

The agreement, according to the governor would allow Bohol to tap the technical expertise available at the country’s premier state college in as much as the terms of the agreement would allow.

Recently, a group from the UP National Institute of Geological Studies came her prior to the agreement to help document and assist Bohol on the studies in landslide and landslip areas as well as map out local responses.

In Bohol, when we have programs needing the experts from the UP, the school is ready to send them in, said Chatto.

Also in Bohol, the governor said he knew that there are still many towns who have not finished their Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUP).

The CLUP is a very important document for development, especially when planning for investments, the governor explained.

This is also one area where UP can actually help.

By signing an agreement with the university, UP can send in their experts in urban planning to focus on helping local government units in Bohol needing the expertise.

But the UP expertise is not just limited to urban planning, but it covers all areas of development, he stressed.

When we need tourism experts, UP has Asia Institute of Tourism. We need experts in governance, UP can send in experts form the National College of Public Administration and Governance. When we need scientists, the university can send to us their experts, according to the governor.

Over all these, many towns whose internal revenue allotments would be severely affected by the slash this year, the agreement can allow towns to still make their priority development plans, even without the huge amounts often spent for paying consultants and experts. (30) 

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